Elton John’s 1971 Australian Tour – Perth concert images by Ric Chan

Our principal surf photographer Ric Chan is a man of many talents.

He was the lead singer in a popular NZ Band before heading to the East Coast of OZ to pursue a surf photography career in the late 60s.

During the 70s in Perth, he was a journalist for Independent Newspaper, a DJ at Gobbles Night Club, surf photographer for West Coast Surf Magazine, a fashion model, and even a Voiceover talent for Jeans West and a number of other Perth companies.

Photo: 1970s dapper Ric in Perth City with his red jaguar. Ric Chan pic.

Ric Chan produced weekly Surfing and Music columns in the Independent Newspaper.

Image: 1971 Ric’s music column dated 10 October 1971 in Independent Newspaper. Image courtesy of Ric & Independent Newspapers.

Elton John’s first tour of Australia and New Zealand started in Perth, Western Australia on 16 October 1971 at Subiaco Stadium.

Local radio station 6KY promoted/sponsored the Perth concert and Perth band Mark IV was the support band.

Photo/Journo Ric Chan covered Elton’s Perth concert for the Independent Newspaper.

These are some of Ric’s photos of the Elton John’s Perth media reception and Concert.


Photo: 1971 Elton John Concert media reception. L-R Elton John, Nigel Olssen & Dee Murray. Ric Chan pic.

Ric Chan:Nigel and Dee were Elton’s backing group”.

Photos: 1971 Elton John Concert media reception. Ric Chan pics.

Photo: 1971 Elton John Concert media reception. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1971 Elton John Concert media reception. L-R 6KY DJ’s unidentified and Dennis Commetti. Ric Chan pic.

Editor’s note: “Dennis Commetti went on to become a renowned AFL Football Commentator. He announced his retirement from AFL football commentating at the end of the 2016 football season”.


Ric Chan: “I was allowed free movement around the stage, but the best position was from where I shot from. I think I was the ONLY photographer to shoot that concert”.

Photos: 1971 Elton John rocks at the Perth Concert. Ric Chan pics.

Photos: Elton John’s Perth Concert drummer Nigel Olsson with drum kit. Ric Chan pics

Ric Chan: “Nigel and I spent some time together and I recall him telling me he had his drums custom made.”

Photos: 1971 Elton John performing Perth Concert. Ric Chan pics.

Photos: 1971 Elton John rocking at Perth Concert. Ric Chan pics.

Back in the ‘70s, Ric photographed many of the International artists visiting Perth, including the Rolling Stones, Bee Gees, ACDC, Nina Simone, Deep Purple, Santana, Beach Boys, Led Zep and John Mayall.

Surfing Down South plans to feature Ric’s photos from some of those music concerts in future blogs.



Museum of Surf – Ric Chan images

Our resident surf photographer Ric Chan now has some of his vintage surf photos featured on the Museum of Surf web and Facebook sites.

For a sneak preview of Ric’s images click on either of the following links.

Museum of Surf Web site  

Museum of Surf Facebook 

Ric took the photos in New South Wales, South Australia and West Australia during the period 1968 to 1976.

Photo: 1970 Ric Chan covering the WA State Surfing Titles at Yallingup. Ric pic.

Ric lives in Auckland NZ and still loves snapping pics.



1976 Tony Hardy surfing Margaret River Main Break

In the mid-1970s, Tony and his wife Jacquie moved their young family from Scarborough and settled on a rural property in Margaret River. In 1976 Tony built a shaping bay and started making Hardy Surfboards on the property.

Click on this link to view 1976 Hardy Surfboards Margaret River blog posted 8 October 2014.

Photo: 1976 Tony country living on his Margaret River property. Ric Chan pic.

In the 1970s, goofy-footer Tony was arguably the best surfer riding Margaret River Main Break.

Independent newspaper surf journo Ric Chan captured these images of Tony surfing Marg’s Main Break in 1976.

Photo: 1973 surf photographer Ric Chan with his gold coloured kombi and ‘tools of the trade’ in the car park at Surfers Point.

Ric ChanIn this shot I was using an 1100mm catadioptric lens. It’s a mirror lens and is shorter with more power. It is not as long as a 600mm lens.

Photo: 1976 Tony Hardy surfing Marg’s Main Break. Ric Chan pic #1.

Photo: 1976 Tony Hardy surfing Marg’s Main Break. Ric Chan pic #2.

Photo: 1976 Tony Hardy surfing Marg’s Main Break. Ric Chan pic #3.

Photo: 1976 Tony Hardy surfing Marg’s Main Break. Ric Chan pic #4.

Photo: 1976 Tony Hardy surfing Marg’s Main Break. Ric Chan pic #5.

Photo: 1976 Tony Hardy surfing Marg’s Main Break. Ric Chan pic #6.

Photo: 1976 Tony Hardy surfing Marg’s Main Break. Ric Chan pic #7.

Photo: 1976 Tony Hardy surfing Marg’s Main Break. Ric Chan pic #8.

Margaret River surfing legend Tony Hardy still shapes the odd surfboard and surfs Margaret’s on his hand crafted single fin surfboards.

Tony’s granddaughter Willow Hardy is carrying on the family surfing traditional. Willow has won the 12-and-under-girls title two years in row at the Taj’s Small Fries Competition held in the Yallingup region. And in March 2017, Willow won her first State Title in the U/14 division held at Main Break Margaret River. Willow now joins her grandad Tony, father Gene and uncles Ryan and Brett in the record books, with all family members holding Surfing WA State Titles.




1980s Bali Photo Gallery by Ric Chan with comments from Peter Neely #5

Perth based photo-journalist Ric Chan started going on surf trips to Bali in the early 80s. In 1985 he was lured to Bali to help set up and run Cheaters Night Club in Kuta’s entertainment strip, near the famous Peanuts Club.

Ric lived in Bali until ’91 and then returned to his native NZ after his wife Sami passed away. Ric and his sons Taron & Tao settled in NZ’s North Island.

This is a glimpse of Ric’s 80s Bali photo gallery and a taste of quieter times in Bali. (This blog also contains some 80s Bali pics by Jim King.)

Ric ChanPeter Neely is an old mate who was in Bali when I was there.

Peter runs the web site INDO SURF and LINGO and has provided background comments on some of Ric’s Bali pics.

Photo: 1980 Cookie & Made Kasim at Kuta. Ric Chan pic.

Peter NeelyIt’s “Cookie” with Made Kasim. I’m sure they’d love to see this old photo from their early teen years.

Photo: 1980 Balinese surfer at Legian beach break. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1982 unsealed Jalan Legian Kuta. Jim King pic.

Photo: 1983 Joe’s Surf Shop in Kuta. Jim King pic.

Peter NeelyThis Joe’s surf shop pic will possibly be of interest one day, as it was the first “surf shop”, although there’s no surfboards visible? And I don’t think this is the first version of his shop?

Photo: 1980 Halfway surf break Kuta Beach. Ric Chan pic.

Peter Neely -This is why we surfed Halfway Kuta virtually every afternoon! Even the hot surfers would hit Uluwatu in the morning, then surf Halfway into the sunset. Long peeling rights and lefts over a forgiving sand bottom.


Photo: 1980 Balinese goofy footer at Kuta. Ric Chan pic.

Peter NeelyIts little Froggy.

Photo: 1985 Ubud market day. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1985 Medewi wave line-up. Photo taken from the point pre-tourist development. Jim King pic.

Photo: 1985 Medewi coast road. Waiting for transport. Jim King pic.

Photo: 1985-86 Bali Sami Chan relaxing on the verandah Jimbaran Bay. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1983 Bali fisherman. Ric Chan pic.

Peter NeelyThis image is of JIMBARAN BAY FISHERMEN with their outrigger dug-out boats. Maybe Ric remembers why there are 2 tripods filming there? They look professional?

Ric Chan – Nah it wouldn’t have been my camera gear. I used a 600mm and a 1000mm lens. Never anything as short as that 200mm.

Photo: 1980 Shark fishermen Jimbaran Bay. Ric Chan pic

Peter NeelyI remember seeing dozens of these hammerhead sharks brought into Jimbaran bay every morning. But I never saw any in the surf.


Photo: 1980 Bali sunset Jimbaran Bay. Ric Chan pic

Coming soon 1980s Bali Photo Gallery by Ric Chan #6

You can inquire on the SDS Web & Facebook sites to view Ric’s previous Bali photo galleries.






1970s Arsemobile Images by Ric Chan

In the 70s young New Zealand expatriate Ric Chan was living on the beach front at Scarborough.

During this period Ric was experimenting with his photography.

This is a collection of Ric’s lesser known images taken in the Scarborough Beach car park in the 70s.

The purpose of the Limousine photo shoot with the early 70s Cadillac is unknown. The faceless male models are also unknown, but you may recognise some of the male models from aspects of their anatomy.

Ric Chan – muhahahaha I remember the pics, but ain’t got any idea of where and when they were shot. I wish I could remember, coz there has to be a funny story behind em – hee hee. Lemme think about it!

The images appear to have been inspired by natural forms and structures.

Photo: 1970s Arsemobile photo shoot #1 by Ric Chan.


Photo: 1970s Arsemobile photo shoot #2 by Ric Chan.


Photo: 1970s Arsemobile photo shoot #3 by Ric Chan.


Photo: 1970s Arsemobile photo shoot #4 by Ric Chan.


Let us know if you were at Ric’s photo shoot and remember anything about it!